Curry Diplomacy


I’m Korean but was raised in the US. I have been broking the Korean miracle for years and had hit it off with this big Indian client in New York. When I say “big,” I mean he managed a lot of money at a large institution. Rajesh was also physically large and enjoyed his food and drink. I finally convinced him to come with me on a trip to Korea. As he was new to the market, this would be his first time so I wanted everything to be perfect – right down to the room salon.

The Finest Room Salon

I believe entertaining clients is important as this is how you really get to know someone and when in Korea this is done with karaoke, whisky, girls and room salons. I’ve been to a ton of room salons in Seoul and think I know the best ones. I took him to one of the finest with our Korea based sales guys for our last night there. We even had a great dinner at an Indian restaurant, if you can believe it. I think there are only one or two in Seoul as almost no Indians are in Korea. Over the last three days Rajesh was getting tired of Asian food, and by that I mean Korean food, so that night we had curry and ate like kings, washing it down with copious amounts of Hite beer and soju. The four of us were feeling pretty good when we turned up at our up-market room salon. Earlier I had called the “unni,” or “mama-san,” the woman who ran the place, to make sure she knew we were coming and had her arrange a good room with the best girls.

Girl in a Red Dress

After we sat down the girls filed in and we chose five or six to sit with us and pour drinks, make conversation, sing, etc. Rajesh demanded his own bottle of Johnnie Walker which was odd but since he was partly gone already and wanted to take swigs straight out of the bottle I was fine with that! Like I said, there aren’t many Indians in Korea and the girls were a little unsure of being around this large, dark guy who was by now three sheets to the wind, shouting and taking long swigs of JW. I told the girls in Korean, Rajesh was an important client and to be extra nice to him. I was busy playing some drinking game with two of the other girls when I looked over and saw one of the girls in a stunning red dress sitting next to Rajesh and teaching him basic Korean. He was just slurring the words. Good so far. On with my drinking. I glanced over again and he had kind of stopped drinking and looked a little funny. She was still repeating herself, telling him the word for “napkin” and looking directly into his eyes when he shuddered and barfed all over her face! I mean, we’re talking projectile vomit all over this girl’s face, her hair, her new dress and the couch and floor. That was a lot of curry coming out in a hurry. There was a moment of stunned silence before she lifted her hands up and started screaming and screaming. Man, I have never heard a woman scream so loud. The other girls were shouting and running around and the staff and security came pouring in the room. It was total chaos.

“I Want to Learn Korean”

I apologized and apologized as we wiped Rajesh off and who was now feeling much better and wanted to stay and learn more Korean! This guy was wasted. I paid the “unni” all the cash in my wallet, grabbed my buddy’s wallet and gave it to her as well. We dragged Rajesh out of there as fast as we could, which wasn’t fast enough with the girls shouting and cursing us and the girl in the not-so-red dress covered in curry vomit now in total shock and not making much sound at all.

I returned the next day alone and paid for a new dress, new furniture and another thousand apologies. Man, I’ll never be able to go back again!

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